Antimicrobial resistance in Swedish pig production

Last changed: 17 March 2023

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents an emerging threat for animals, humans, and the environment. The consequences of AMR in animals are similar to those for humans, leading to suffering and decreased welfare, increased mortality, and reduced productivity with major impact on livelihoods and global food security. Several drug-resistant bacteria are of great concern worldwide, among which Escherichia coli is particularly notable. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli is a major global health problem, ubiquitously present and easy to detect. Therefore, E. coli has been commonly used as a biomarker to monitor AMR on livestock farms and in hospitals.


This project is part of an ongoing PhD project at BVF with the overall objective to investigate the dynamics of AMR in Swedish pig production. The aim of this specific project is to investigate the occurrence of- and resistant patterns of E-coli longitudinally in the indoor environment of pig farms and see if there is an association between the microbiology results and other risk factors such as antibiotics use, cleaning procedures or feed additives.


Indoor sock samples (mainly containing feces from the animals) is currently collected from ten pig farms in Sweden at six occasions during the production cycle (from birth to slaughter at 6-7 months). We also collect data on antimicrobial use and other risk factors. The student will culture E. coli from the samples at the BVF lab and test for antimicrobial susceptibility. The results from the microbiological analysis will be investigate statistically to see if there is an association with other risk factors.


Autumn 2023. Suitable for 30hp project.


Elisabeth Rajala, researcher
Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health, SLU, +4618 67 20 36, +4673 801 33 56